Press release from Still GmbH
The future of intelligent order-picking has a name: the iGo neo CX 20
Interactive teamwork of man and machine through autonomy
Hamburg, 8th March 2016 – Through its innovative in-house development of the iGo neo CX 20, the intralogistics specialist STILL becomes the first industrial truck manufacturer to introduce robotics into intralogistics on a series production basis. This intuitive, series production commissioning solution brings an unprecedented level of process safety, security and efficiency into intralogistics. The Hamburg company was awarded a prize at the LogiMAT 2016 for its innovative order-picking solution. STILL beat the competition with the iGo neo CX 20 as the “BEST PRODUCT” in the category “Order-picking, conveying, lifting and warehouse technology”.
The iGo neo CX 20 interacts like a team member and follows its operator during order-picking at every turn. Thus the operator can focus entirely on order-picking, and can work unimpeded and error-free. Field tests have shown that the autonomous helper ensures a time saving of up to 30% with significantly higher picking performance, because it eliminates the time-consuming getting on and off the truck.
The iGo neo CX 20 is based on STILL’s CX 20 order picker with a two-ton load capacity, already tried and tested in many applications. STILL’s engineers used intelligent robotics technology to breathe cognitive abilities into this order-picking truck. The result is an autonomous system optimally tailored to the requirements of order-picking tasks, e.g. in retail, spare parts or online selling. The intelligent truck adjusts to the operator’s work rhythm. It always lets him go ahead – but keeps a proper safety distance to allow the operator to move freely around the truck. As an intelligent road user, the industrial truck acts autonomously in the warehouse and lines up in the current material flow regardless of local circumstances. It obeys the rules of the road at intersections, obstacles and towards other trucks, thus ensuring a safe working environment between autonomous and conventional industrial trucks to be achieved for the first time.
This interactive teamwork of man and machine is made possible by the integrated Motion Tracking System, whose sensor-assisted visual field enables the truck to react to its environment constantly in 360° mode. It ensures that the truck can recognise the operator’s intentions based on his movements and can interact with him. By using its laser-assisted environment recognition system, the STILL iGo neo CX 20 can sense the entire warehouse topology and can recognise the operator and other people as well as racks, shelves or obstacles.
At the same time the Personnel Safety System (PSS) built into the truck’s lower front guarantees comprehensive protection for both the environment and people in the truck’s surroundings. The integral laser scanner’s 180° panoramic detection capability guarantees anticipatory driving and thus early recognition and intelligent assessment of obstacles, together with well-adapted, smooth driving. This prevents damage to goods on the forks due to abrupt emergency braking. The scanners record the surrounding situation 84,000 times a second, and the computer interprets and evaluates the current warehouse topology in real time. The truck has access to a type of short-term memory, through which it notices the obstacles it has already passed. At the same time it distinguishes between stationary and moving obstacles.
The truck masters the step from classical automation to autonomous driving and transport without any pre-setting or external remote control. The operator can bring the truck into its initial position at the starting point by pressing a button, and the iGo neo CX 20 is already prepared for operation. If there is a need for longer journeys or driving around curves, the operator can press a button to switch to manual operation, or simply step onto the truck’s platform and drive away. On arriving at the next racked aisle, he can then re-select automatic operation by pressing a button, and the truck will again follow its operator autonomously. The machine uses its sensor-assisted visual field to navigate in the warehouse aisle with a freely selectable separation distance – and at least 50 cm away from the rack.
Regardless of whether the respective warehouse management system issues each job order to the operator through a terminal or via “Pick by Voice”, the iGo neo CX 20 with its narrow outline of only 80 cm will become a flexible, autonomous transportation escort in any intralogistics environment. Thanks to “Automation on Demand”, the operator can decide freely at any time whether he wants to use the truck manually or autonomously to increase his picking performance. This makes the iGo neo CX 20 the ideal assistance system for efficient order-picking. Whether order-picking takes place on the right, left or on both sides - it makes no difference.
A visual signal (Optical Signal Unit) mounted on the truck shows the current operating mode by a kind of visible heartbeat. Due to this highly obvious, non-verbal user interface, the iGo neo CX 20 can be used across all languages, cultures and age boundaries without any tedious prior training. STILL’s iGo neo CX 20 turns the operator and order-picker into intuitive partners in line with the requirements of Intralogistics 4.0. Although the truck is currently powered by a standard battery, the use of lithium ion technology is also possible. The STILL iGo neo CX 20 will be available from July 2016 onwards.
STILL offers customized intralogistics solutions worldwide, and implements the intelligent teamwork of forklift trucks and warehouse technology, software and services. The achievement created by the Company’s founder Hans Still in 1920 through a large amount of creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and quality quickly developed into a strong brand well-known throughout the world. Today more than 8,000 qualified staff in research and development, production, marketing and service are involved for the sole purpose of fulfilling customers’ needs throughout the whole world. The keys to the company’s success are highly efficient products ranging from sector-specific complete offers for large and small enterprises to computer-assisted logistics programs for efficient warehouse and materials flow management. Please also visit STILL on the Internet at www.still.de or on Facebook www.facebook.com/still.